Foreign flavors at Mamilla Rooftop

With Passover just around the corner and spring bringing its sultry breezes, it’s a good time to take a gander on the Rooftop.

Mamilla hotel (photo credit: AMIT GIRON)
Mamilla hotel
(photo credit: AMIT GIRON)
Mamilla Rooftop Outdoor Lounge & Restaurant has arguably one of the best settings in Jerusalem, with panoramic views overlooking the Old City and attentive service. Though the space is open, the aura is one of a warm, intimate welcome.
It was on a chilly Thursday afternoon that a group of journalists met up with the restaurant’s head chef, Koby Bachar, to sample and enjoy some new additions to the menu. Bachar fuses Israeli cuisine with five other styles of cooking: Turkish, Asian, American, Italian and classic French, alongside influences from the Jewish kitchen. Every item receives special attention and showcases dishes unique to Mamilla in both taste and presentation.
Ensconced among heat lamps, we began with the intriguingly named capuccino, which consisted of a warm lentils salad, Turkish spinach, bok choy, lentils veloute and curry lime foam, which did not disappoint. The essence of the dish was complex, and the flavors blended together like Holy City magic. The house foccacia was a good way to scoop up every last bit from the plate.
The raw tabbouleh featuring sliced raw fish, fresh herbs, almonds and puffed bulgur was a whirlwind of sauces and flavors, competing with the tender chunks of fish. We weren’t sure where they source their chicken of the sea from, but the quality was there. We appreciated how each little garnish and sauce had a distinct purpose (and made sure to sop it all up).
For mains, we were first presented with the crusted sea bream with lemon and herbs, zucchini cream, snow peas, broccoli and peppadew pepper. The fish was well-seasoned and grilled to perfection, nicely presented, and the delicateness of the sea bream was a fitting contrast to the other, stronger flavors.
Next up: organic chicken with tzatziki, beets, fresh garlic and cumin seeds, which was juicy with an earthy Mediterranean twist.
The Rooftop offers an extensive wine list, and we left it to our knowledgeable waitress to recommend a velvety Flam that was equally comfortable with the fruits de la mer as it was with the meat.
To end this rich and boozy lunch, we tucked into a classic warm apple tart accompanied by melting vanilla ice cream. We moaned over our precious last few bites, since with mixed feelings at having to leave this deliciousness behind, we were whisked off to our massage appointment in the Japanese-style spa. The resulting rubdown perfectly capped off an afternoon of decadence.
With Passover just around the corner and spring bringing its sultry breezes, it’s a good time to take a gander on the Rooftop.
The writers were guests of the restaurant and spa.
Mamilla Rooftop Outdoor Lounge & Restaurant
11 King Solomon Street (access through Mamilla Hotel)
(02) 548-2230